Finding a Father in St. Joseph

I was invited to participate in Fr. Donald Calloway’s newly released Consecration to St. Joseph. I have always been curious about this man, Joseph. Our son takes his namesake from St. Joseph, we received a clear answer to my husband’s career decision on the thirtieth day of the novena to St. Joseph, and I will inherit the beautiful three-foot vintage St. Joseph statue that resided in the church of my youth. There were many epiphanies throughout this reading, but these are the three that resonated with my soul.

From the first day of this consecration I felt St. Joseph’s presence. He showed up immediately with a fatherly sense of safety and caretaking which was restorative and comforting to me.

Father Knows Best

God sent his only son to this world to die for me, to save me, and to adopt me into the family of God. Because of this I can call him “Father,” “Abba.” I am a child of God, and he is the reason I am here. In this consecration I came to know a deeper presence of the Heavenly Father in my life. St. Joseph has been a bridge to discovering a deeper love of my heavenly Father. In what way, you may ask?

Our own human fathers provide for our needs. With great pleasure, St. Joseph desires to feed, protect, shelter, educate, correct and provide for each of us spiritually. St. Joseph did all these things for Jesus and he does them for us too. Father knows best. “God the Father wants you to entrust yourself to the loving paternal care of St. Joseph in a manner similar to God’s entrustment of the human nature of Jesus to St. Joseph.”

I found deeper hope that St. Joseph, as my spiritual father, knows what is harmful for my soul, and wants to watch over me and help me to arrive safely to eternity. I also have a better glimpse into the heart of God the Father. It has opened a path to deeper reception of God’s love into my heart and soul. A breath of new life, the breath of God, has come down into my soul! The spiritual adoption is sealed, no one can take it away or break this spiritual familial bond.

A Pure Love Story

Learning the story of the deep, reverential love Joseph had for Mary was like reading the purest romance. It was a love of awe, wonder, and purity. I imagine St. Joseph’s eyes, so chaste, so pure, gazing upon his cherished bride. And Mary locks her eyes with him with an undefiled love. This love flowed from their mutual love for God, placing Him first in their lives. The plan for our own marriage unfolds in this moment.

St. Joseph didn’t feel worthy to be the husband of such a holy woman, nor the earthly father of Jesus. How many times have I felt unworthy of Jesus? St. Joseph knows. He knows the suffering of being separated from the one you love. God sent an angel to Joseph to comfort him, and while I do not expect an angel to show up, St. Joseph comes to encourage me.

Prayerful Sleep

St. Joseph also taught me the importance of getting my sleep! God created us to spend one-third of our lives in sleep. Have you ever had a God-inspired dream? God communicated to Joseph in his sleep. “St. Joseph’s sleep is so important and powerful that Satan fears it”!

I am pleasing to God when I sleep. I am not wasting time. Sleep is a prayer.

You may have seen the sleeping St. Joseph statue? One devotion is to keep a sleeping St. Joseph statue by your bed. Before going to sleep, write a prayer intention to St. Joseph and place it under the statue. In this way we can give our concerns to Jesus, through St. Joseph’s intercession, and be assured of God’s provision while we slumber. St. Pio of Pietrelcina wrote, “Go to Joseph with extreme confidence because I do not remember having asked anything from St. Joseph, without having obtained it readily.”

St. Joseph is not a replacement for our Heavenly Father. St. Joseph was sent by God for us to know Him through the example of Joseph. God trusted St. Joseph with Jesus, let us entrust ourselves to him. I invite you to get to know St. Joseph!

Addendum. Feast day of St. Joseph, the Worker is May 1. In this time of economic uncertainty, let us turn to St. Joseph the Worker to intercede for all of those who have had the dignity of work stripped by unemployment. Console them, and restore them to their God-given gifts and talents to provide for their families and for the good of others. Amen.

Copyright 2020 Julie Nelson

Julie Nelson is a self described ambient introvert and Catholic “passionista.” Loving God’s sense of humor, Julie is a former nurse who now is Co-Host of Catholic Women Now weekly radio program. Speaking at the 2017 summer Well gathering, Julie is now building a speaking ministry. Her happy place is being surrounded with her family, especially by a beach or a lake. Julie lives out her childhood dream of being a fashion designer in her sewing room while binging on Fashion Runway. Julie is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines, Iowa.